Congratulations to those who joined us through our recently completed challenge. You were all cold weather warriors – true Vikings – and we’re stoked we got to share all your experiences with you!
It’s time for a new challenge and since the Northern Hemisphere race season is just starting to heat up for the summer we thought we’d give this challenge a new focus. It starts on May 1st and ends on August 8th, which is the Wednesday before one of the biggest race weekends on the calendar with the Vancouver SUP Challenge, the NY SEA Paddle, the Ziinkwazi Dam Race in South Africa, and OABI on August 11 and just a week before the Columbia Gorge Paddle Challenge on August 18-19.
With so many major races coinciding with the end of the Challenge and many, many more held during it, we’ve decided to make the theme of this next challenge about training with quality, not just piling up distance.
While those who are already active racers will appreciate this, this next challenge isn’t just for them. We want to encourage those who don’t currently race and who haven’t done structured workouts before to recognize that SUP (or whatever other watercraft you’re paddling) is a fantastic platform for interval training – much better than any piece of cardio equipment you’ll ever find in your local gym. Getting out and doing a structured workout, even just once a week, will not only make you fitter, but will make you a stronger, more technically proficient paddler in the process – and that will make your recreational paddling that much more enjoyable.
We want to invite those that have coaches and who are following training programs to share their training and workout data with us. Just like sharing our mileage motivated and inspired everyone, sharing the challenging workouts you do will encourage everyone else to step up their game. You’ll get to see how you stack up against others and that should give you more confidence and a better idea of what to expect when you race. There are so many of you that work incredibly hard. You should be proud of the work you put into your paddling and be stoked to share it with others.
For those that don’t have coaches or don’t follow a training program, my pledge is to help you through the process of using your board or paddle craft as a serious training platform – like any other piece of cardio equipment. Each week I’ll post a “workout for the week” that you can do and then share your experience of doing it with the others. I’ll provide a range of work in each posted session that allows EVERYONE, regardless of their experience or current fitness level, to complete the work successfully. We really want you to be excited about sharing your work with the rest of the group. You’ll find this group to be the most supportive and encouraging group around. Our love of paddling and being on the water is what binds us and you’ll find everyone excited for you as you discover how much fun it can actually be to use your paddle craft as a serious fitness training tool.
We recognize that many of you may be uncertain about “training” as opposed to just “paddling”. You may have questions on how to do the work or about how to interpret the data you collect with any GPS device you may use. My second pledge to you is to be more active in the group through this next challenge, answering questions you may have about your training.
Lastly, we’d like to encourage everyone to get out to a race. Those that do regularly know how much fun it is to meet everyone that they have previously only encountered on-line. Think of the friends you make virtually when we introduced the team aspect to the last challenge. Well meeting everyone in person takes things a step further, this is where we put faces to names and make real friendships – and that, after all, is a big part of what this is all about.
So, get out to races and share your racing experience with us as well – whether it’s your first ever race or you’re a seasoned veteran.
There’s so much more to paddling than just piling up miles. So, let’s embrace a focus on the quality of the strokes we pull together in this new challenge!